sounds to words?

I don’t really know how rational this approach is – I am not sure it is in line with standard ‘speech therapy practices’.  The question is… could Mac turn sounds he is capable of making into purposeful words?

Here’s an example of some of the sounds he can make…


Oh No  


His cousins love the fact they are HIS WORDS and they can play them to him at any time and encourage him to say them back.  

We think it might be nice to write a ‘silly story’ where it can be punctuated by his sounds/words.

He is pretty hard to get on audio though.  He seems to know whenever you turn the voice memo option on the iPhone on.  He can be ‘yabbering away’ until you bring the recorder into the near vicinity – then he just mouths his sounds, won’t make a noise.

He also has a car, go and yar trio of sounds we would like to get on audio.  Go and yar are pretty good sounds to push for with “yar” being “yes” – shame he isn’t Canadian – he’d be sorted.

I do like the fact that having these on his iPod means others at school can hear the sounds he can make and then are more likely to encourage them.  I am working on his current ‘vocab’ sheet for school so they can encourage more verbal output from him.


Filed under Technology - things that help, things that make me go "glll"

7 responses to “sounds to words?

  1. This is the sort of thing Jim McDonald’s Communicating Partners does with all sorts of language-delayed kids. And that man is an Ohio speech therapist. Also – I don’t know if you know – about Hanen’s More than Words.

    I don’t know if IPodding them is a good idea, though. It reminds me a bit of when Rosemary Crossley tried to record Anne McDonald. She was very noisy in the morning, but Rosemary was not good at understanding her speech, especially when she was talking to her friend Stephen, who was staying at the Crossley/Borthwick place.

    ‘It is useless trying to conceal things from Annie. Her hearing is simply too good.’ (and Mac’s sight may fall into the same category, at least for the IPod!)

    At St Nicholas many of the people in the ward, especially the communication group, were able to gossip and laugh with their sounds. But no adult understood a child and no child understood an adult.

    Mac has a nice clear voice for the sounds he can make.

  2. Thanks Adelaide… I will have to dig around a bit more and find some more info, do some more reading . Interesting about the adults and children not being able to understand one another – another good reason Mac is at school where he is I guess… hmmm, great insights, ta. Gina

  3. That would be excellent if you could do some more reading … and experiencing too. Books and magazines and journals can tell us only so much.

    Jim Messina is really terrific too. He has the Pathfinders programme and there is a good small book about verbal and non-verbal communication.

    There are several good Australian disability sites which you may or may not know of. The one I am specifically thinking of is The Raising Children Network.

  4. Rachel

    Hi Gina
    I love it.
    I also love your previous post about the kids positioning themselves to help Mac. Fearghus gets the same thing at daycare. Ella (feargies future wife :)) is always there to hold his hand in the morning and give him kisses and the other kids wrestle to give him their toy. They are also jostling to position themselves next to him on the mat. Fearghus is very ho-hum about it…he knows he has them wrapped around his finger.

  5. Mary

    Hi Gina
    Mac has some great clear sounds for building words there. And being able to use just a few words – yes, no, go – is such a powerful thing. You’ve done so well to help Mac to eat good food and now talk too. We started with these sorts of approximations and then shaped them closer to real words. Pairing the spoken words with symbols and written words helped Nick access them in his brain and produce them again. Similarly predictable cloze rhymes helped. eg Pamela Allen books Words like ‘go’ are good ones to start with because you can do fun things when they say the word.

  6. Gina

    Thanks Mary
    He’s pretty good with ‘go’ – used that to make his toys work (go), I got a work out running back and forth from the kitchen to the loungeroom to start them every time he said go… I used to lust after a voice activated switch but then when he had some voice activated toys he worked out a whiney whingey noise made them work without anywhere near the effort so it wasn’t a good ‘pay off’ from our perspective. G

  7. Kim (Harrys Mum)

    We are encouraging Harry to use his voice more by telling him that he needs to use his voice when he wants things. Recent comments from preschool lead me to believe that is happening. I find that assembly is a good time becauase of the noisy time (singing, clapping and responding to questions) and quiet times (listening to other students and teachers and waiting of things). I encourage Harry to be noisy at noisy time (“Harry don’t forget to use your voice”) and quiet at quiet times (“Harry we use our ears now and not our mouths” with touching cues on ears and lips) as suitable. Hopefully he will get there in time for school next year.

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